A Corned Beef & Cabbage panini sandwich (photo © Dietz & Watson).
You may look forward to Corned Beef & Cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day? How about a Corned Beef & Cabbage Sandwich?
If it sounds strange, remember that coleslaw is simply sliced cabbage with dressing, and that the Reuben is a grilled or toasted sandwich on rye or pumpernickel with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian Dressing.
In this recipe from Dietz & Watson, they cabbage is simply steamed, but nothing’s stopping you from serving the sandwich with a side of slaw. Or a cold beer.
This photo shows the sandwich made on a panini press, but you can make a conventional sandwich as you prefer.
In addition to corned beef hash, this is one of our favorite uses for leftover corned beef.
Ingredients Per Sandwich
1. BRING 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon oil to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Add the cabbage and reduce the heat to low. Steam the cabbage for 15 minutes but do not overcook; the cabbage should still remain crisp. Drain and pat with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. LAY two slices of bread on a flat work surface. Spread 1 teaspoon of mustard on each slice. Pile the corned beef, Cheddar, and cabbage on one slice. Add the top slice of bread. Grill on a panini press or serve as is.
WHAT IS CORNED BEEF?
Corning refers to curing or pickling the meat in seasoned brine. The word refers to the “corns” or grains of rock salt (today, kosher salt) that is mixed with water to make the brine.
Typically, brisket is used to make corned beef; the dish has many regional variations and seasonings. Smoking a corned beef, and adding extra spices, produces pastrami.
Corned beef was a staple in middle-European Jewish cuisine. Irish immigrants learned about corned beef on New York’s Lower East Side from their Jewish neighbors, and adopted it as a cheaper alternative to Irish bacon. Bacon and cabbage is a popular Irish dish. (Irish bacon is a lean, smoked pork loin similar to Canadian bacon. Here are the different types of bacon.)
Cattle in Ireland were not used for meat but for dairy products. Pork, an inexpensive meat in Ireland, was a dinner table staple.
But in the U.S., pork was much more expensive than the American staple meat, beef; and brisket, which required several hours of cooking to tenderize, was an affordable cut. Irish-Americans substituted corned beef for the bacon, and and Corned Beef & Cabbage was born.
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